A Tale of the Sea.
The rescue of the crew in the barque Emilie, from Geestemund, by the second officer and five seamen of the steamship Holland, belonging to the National line, is only the old tale of pluck and perseverance on the part of English seamen triumphantly pitted against the tremendous forces of winds and waves ; but while complaints are being heard in some quarters of the alleged “deterioration” of our sailors, it is well to be reminded that the old stuff is still to be found when occasion requires, The Holland, when she fell in with the waterlogged Emilie in mid-Atlantic, was in little condition herself for lending a hand to a brother in distress. For three days and nights terrific hurricanes had swept over her, doing more or leas damage to her rigging and cargo, and pouring deluges of water down her ventilators. It was still blowing half a gale, with frequent squalls equal to a whole gale, when a sight was obtained of the Emilie, only a quarter of a mile distant, waterlogged and dismasted except her lower mainmast, on the rigging of which, the maintop being gone, they good discern the shivering forms of the unfortunate crew of eleven men. For fifteen hours they had withstood the fury of the gale without food or drink. As a mountainous sea was still breaking, it was at first decided to stand by till the weather moderated, but after about five hours’ waitiujg, it being then two in the afternoon of a March day, it was decided that the wind was likely even to increase before night, and thatas the shipwrecked men could not possibly live till morning where they were an attempt at rescue should be made while daylight yet served, “ I want a crew for that! ” exclaimed the captain of the Holland, pointing to the lifeboat as the old ship was lying ! with her lee-gunwale under water, and in a moment there was a scramble to get into her. Eight volunteered, but six only iwer* needed. The choice fell on Mr Griffiths, the second officer, and the A.B.s Lemay,
Kehie, Lambert, Manthop, and Holmes. Each man stripped to his shirt and drawers, aud secured with the life-belt under his arms, sat firm to his oars, as the boat, after miraculous escapes from being overwhelmed by the rolling of the ship, got clear and began her contest with the waves. At last, adds the narrative of the writer who watched the exciting scene from the deck of the Holland, “ we could see the boat stem on to the wreck, and each man in his turn jump into the water to be hauled into the boat, wet and exhausted, the sea being much too rough to admit of going alongside. When the last man was seen to jump a cheer broke from the overcharged breasts of the spectators, and the wreck was abandoned." Such is the simple, touching story.
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A Tale of the Sea., Evening Star, Issue 7927, 7 June 1889
A Tale of the Sea. Evening Star, Issue 7927, 7 June 1889
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